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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Two big stars – Sophie Tucker and tenor John McCormack – were playing shows in Spokane.

Tucker was one of the nation’s most famous vaudeville singers. The Spokesman-Review’s critic said the crowd at the Loew Theater loved her show – but the critic threw in a catty comment about her weight.

“Miss Tucker is original in her treatment of popular ‘rags,’ and she has developed a style of rendition into which she has injected her own mannerisms,” said the review. “With the lapse of time, the singer had acquired an excess of avoirdupois that somewhat hampers her gyrations, and instead of pirouetting about the stage, as was her wont when she first became a vaudeville idol, her movements are now more stately.”

McCormack sang oratorios, operatic numbers and Irish songs in a performance at the state armory in Spokane.

A group of 40 Spokane admirers also attended a reception at the Davenport Hotel in McCormack’s honor, during which he showed off his new $12,000 Stradivarius violin, which he had recently added to his collection.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1964: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, ruled that Congress was within its authority to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against racial discrimination by private businesses (in this case, a motel that refused to cater to blacks).

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